Swimming clinic is a success in Marshall Islands (MHL)

Development News

Kwajalein and Ebeye swimming officials received the benefit earlier this month (May 1-5, 2010) of a visit by international swimming federation coach Don Blew, who is based in Australia.

"I saw improvements since my visit four years ago," Blew told the Journal during his visit to Kwajalein. His visit focused on officiating for swim events and competitions. "FINA's (the international swimming body) aim is to get everyone following one officiating standard, so the administration of rules is the same everywhere," he said.

Blew instructed 12 swimming officials from Ebeye and Kwajalein. The group did three days of classroom training and two days of practical application at the pools on Kwajalein.

He mentioned that the swimmers working out at Kwajalein's pools were a combination of young people from Kwajalein and Ebeye. He remarked coaches on the island have developed good swim strokes among the swimmers: "The standard is not up to the US level because they don't have all the weightlifting and other facilities; but there is a lot of potential for the kids here." For instance, one of the swimmers headed to the US for training before the Micronesian Games in August.

Blew admitted Kwajalein is lucky because it has two swimming pools. "A pool on Ebeye would make all the difference", he added. However, transportation to and from Ebeye for swimmers is a challenge. There were a good number of swimmers from Ebeye participating on Kwajalein, but it would be "a big help to the sport if they can get a pool on Ebeye," he concluded.

(Published in the Marshall Islands Journal on May 21, 2010)